Hartlepool apprentice shines at Dulux Decorator Centre national finals

ATTENTION TO DETAIL: Sophie Willingham with her lecturer Mike Taylor
ATTENTION TO DETAIL: Sophie Willingham with her lecturer Mike Taylor

AN APPRENTICE has painted her way to success in a prestigious competition.

Sophie Willingham, 20, a painting and decorating student came third in the grand final of the Dulux Decorator Centre National Apprentice of the Year competition.

The two-day national final took place at New College Durham and the Hartlepool College of Further Education student was competing against 10 other students.

Sophie was praised for her fantastic brushwork and her attention to detail by the three judges, who are all industry experts.

Sophie said: “I’m really pleased to have come in the top three, especially as the standard was so high.

“It was fantastic to be involved and I enjoyed it tremendously.”

Sophie’s lecturer, Mike Taylor, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement for Sophie and she should be very proud.

“Being a finalist is a great way to kick-start a career in painting and decorating.”

During the final Sophie demonstrated a range of skills including wallpapering, cutting in and a series of special effects.

Sophie received £250 and a selection of products and tools for finishing third.

The overall winner was Abalene East from North West Kent College.